I receieved a very unexpected piece of news the other day. One of the girls in my close-knit group of college friends was killed in an accident over the weekend, along with her mother and aunt.
I find myself in a difficult and uncomfortable place.
This person was a very important part of my life during those college years and for many afterward. But we had had a falling out several years back, I don't even recall what the reasons were - it had been a number of years since I had spoken with or heard from her.
She has certainly crossed my mind periodically over the years, often in the form of fleeting thoughts about reaching out to her again, wondering what she was up to, memories of good times and good friends.
I am torn between pain and sadness for a loss so close to home, and guilt for letting the connection between us fade. I regret assuming that there would always be time to repair the distance. I am angry for such a senseless and incomprehensible loss - the accident happened in the middle of the afternoon on a sunny Saturday, not late in the evening or in bad weather. There were no real outside circumstances to blame. One man drove too fast too carelessly, and took three people with him.
I realized that she was really the first "frugalista" I knew...after college we used to joke that she wouldn't pay full price for milk - so in a way she had a hand in this blog. I thought of her often when I was starting to shop more carefully, had considered getting in touch to find out what her methods were as I was developing my own.
She was a talented woman, a good friend through many years, and while we may not have spoken recently I can't imagine the reasons were so earth shattering that they couldn't be overcome. If I can't recall why we stopped talking, then it must not have mattered much.
If you are reading this and someone's name comes to mind...call them. Email them. Google them. Life is precious, short, and unpredictable. You really never know if there will be a tomorrow. Hug your children and your loved ones tighter, and rebuild the connections that may have been lost before the opportunity is gone. Because regret is far more costly and painful than sayng "I'm sorry", or overcoming pride and extending the olive branch. Differences can be overcome, but only when both of you are still around to work them out.